embroidery

True Beauty …..

by Helen on July 21, 2014

Ben is a gentle, good-natured, friendly sort of dog who loves going out and about making new friends and catching up with old ones.  We are used to people who are perhaps nervous of dogs crossing the road to avoid him, but we’re equally used to friendly folk descending upon him and with many oohs and aahhhs making a great fuss of him.  But last week was a little different.

Once he was up on his paws again after his operations, I took him out with me for short walks around and about.  He still had stitches in his eyes, and his face was partly shaved so he was definitely not looking his handsome best.  But still .. I didn’t expect the totally audible comments of “Uurgh, how disgusting” and “Look at that dog it’s gross…” etc etc that he received from one or two people (not his local friends).    And whilst he didn’t understand the words, he certainly picked up on the tone of voice, and his tail lost its cheerful curl and began to droop sadly.  So I took him home again and he hasn’t been anywhere he might meet visitors for a while – though now his stitches are out and his eyes are nearly back to normal I think perhaps its time for him to venture a little further afield again.    And in the meantime I stitched this ….

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For no matter how odd Ben’s face looked after his operation, he was still the same loving, gentle dog inside, and as I’m sure we all know, the same is true for humans too.  I hope you like it and the pattern will be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.

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Every Monday afternoon …

by Helen on July 15, 2014

Every Monday afternoon I say farewell to my two furry friends and head off into Kingsbridge for an afternoon session as a volunteer at the Oxfam Bookshop.  I really enjoy these sessions as I meet lots of interesting people – many visitors to the area drop in to pick up new holiday reading as well as locals who almost treat the shop as a library – returning a bag of books for resale before choosing more.  I also enjoy browsing through the books myself and usually come home with two or three (at least!).

This week I thought I’d share one of my finds with you – it’s a Country Living Book entitled “Country Colour Combinations.”  My edition is a bit faded along the spine and dates to 2003.  As the cover makes the rather ambitious claim “classic colour schemes that never fail” I was very interested to see what was inside as most interior books become very dated …

The photography is stunning – as you’d expect from Country Living, and the colour schemes still look attractive, though there were one or two pictures that did look a little dated.  I loved the way the schemes were named – after all, who wouldn’t enjoy “chestnut and copper beech”, “rosehip and crab apple” or “rockpool and driftwood?”  And what’s not to like about “raspberries and cream,” “strawberry, apple & mint,” or “lilac & primrose?”  All the schemes were grouped into palettes, and my very favouritest one was of course “sun, sea, and sky …”

… including “sky & sunshine,” “shell, sky & sunset” and “storm cloud and sea spray”.  This book is still available to purchase from Amazon, though I was surprised to discover that although the cover and title are identical, the author name has been changed from Caroline Atkins on my 2003 copy to Kate Butcher on the current edition.  How odd – I wonder why?

But I haven’t just been lazing around in the summer house idly flicking through my “new” books.  Oh no, a major relocation exercise has taken place here at Coombe Leigh.  Rosie’s wedding arch was getting a little blown about at the front of the house – it’s quite exposed facing the prevalent south-westerlies, so it’s now been moved to the back ….

And made quite a lot taller with the addition of its legs!  The silk roses still look nice around the top and the sweet peas smell wonderful as we brush past them.  In typical country fashion I use the back door much more than the front so I’m really enjoying having the arch where I’ll see it every day.

And I’ve also been busy with new projects for the August Bustle & Sew Magazine….

These little bunnies are waiting for some clothes.  The girl has cute little red shoes and will wear the same dress as Mabel Fox, whilst I’m planning some dungarees for her brother.  The embroidered heart is also for the magazine and is waiting to be added to a project.  Rosie’s wedding may be over, but there’s still no shortage of activities to keep me busy, including a bit of painting – ably assisted by that mischievous Miss Daisy ….

What can I say?!

And to finish, I’m delighted to report Ben is recovering well now.  He’s back at the vet on Friday to have his stitches out, whilst his tooth extraction doesn’t seem to have affected his ability to hoover up his food at teatime -it’s nice to see him back to his old self again!

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But before I announce the winner of my “Bloom & Grow” kit giveaway I’d like to thank everyone who entered for all their great comments and suggestions.  I’ll certainly be acting on them, and so am planning two kits in the autumn (just in time for Christmas stitching/gifting) – a softie and an embroidery – details to follow in the not too distant future.  Thank you also to everyone who left such kind comments about my Lovebirds Hoop for Rosie and Dan – I’d like to reply to you all individually, but I’m so sorry – time is running out on me with only 5 clear days left until THE BIG DAY.

And so, without futher ado – I am pleased to announce that the winner of my Bloom and Grow kit is comment number 131 – that’s Julie.  I’ve emailed you already and will send your kit as soon as I have your posting details.  And once again, thank you so much to everyone who entered.  Meanwhile I’ll leave you with a preview of the July magazine that’s out on Thursday – with two embroidery designs – including a new Rosie & Bear pattern.  I’m  beginning a new series of Rosie & Bear designs inspired by fairytales – and the Princess and the Pea will be the first in this new series.

 

If anyone has any suggestions for future fairytales featuring the naughty pair, then please do leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your ideas.  Red Riding Hood is a possibility I’m considering, and also Rapunzel – but I’m open to any suggestions, thank you xxx

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Bloom & Grow Giveaway

by Helen on June 15, 2014

Yesterday was a lovely day – Rosie and I went along to the bridal shop for her final fitting and her dress is absolutely perfect.  It is the most delicious confection of …. aha – you thought I was going to give the secret away didn’t you?  But no… I promise to show you lots and lots of wedding photos afterwards, but until then the only thing I’m giving away is a Bloom and Grow embroidery kit.

I only had a very limited edition of these available for purchase (I was unable to obtain any more of this fabric), but I did keep just one or two back – until now…..

Yes, I have one of my Bloom and Grow embroidery kits to giveaway to a lucky blog reader.  The kit contains all the ingredients you need to create the “Sound of Music” inspired stitchery above – all you need to add is a hoop and some lovely stitching time.

If you ‘d like the chance to win a Bloom and Grow kit then all you need to do is to leave a comment below.  I’m planning to put together some more Bustle & Sew kits over the summer months and would love to hear your ideas for the first few using some of my designs … would you like more embroidery or perhaps a softie kit?  It would be wonderful if you had any suggestions if you could include them in your comment.

The giveaway is open for the whole of this week, until midnight BST on Friday 20th June.  The winner will be chosen by random selection and I will post worldwide. Good luck everyone!  Sorry giveaway now closed.

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